Pleading the 5th
I would like to share a personal testimony about my earthly father.
Several years ago, when my husband, Charles, was preaching through the 10 commandments, he came to the 5th commandment: “honor your father and mother.” I felt I had always tried to honor my father. Over the years we had not seen each other because he and my mom had divorced and communication was slim. My father’s relationship with me was not adversarial, just not close. There had been a lot of miscommunication and lies told in my family over the years.
I was convicted in my heart that my honor for my father had been a head knowledge but it had never reached my heart! I began to make a scrapbook of his grandchildren whom he really did not know. I put information in there to inform him of the kind of young men they were becoming. I tried to call him more often. I was pleading the 5th commandment in my heart.
It is amazing, when we obey the Lord, how He will bless our obedience.
My father sent me a birthday card, which he had not done in years. In the card were money and a note directing me to take the guys out to eat. Daniel, my oldest, was preparing to go to be a part of a ministry working with troubled youth. My father called and wanted to pay for the whole trip. If you knew all of the background, from which I have spared you, you would realize that this was God working.
I love the definition one of the dictionaries provides for the word “honor”: “A keen sense of right and wrong: adherence to action of principles considered to be right (to conduct oneself with honor).” Proverbs 1:7 says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
A few years ago, my father was dying of liver cancer. I went to where he lived in Memphis to take care of him in the hospital. The Lord allowed me to show him the love of Christ. My brother told me that he had been reading his Bible next to his chair in his home.
My two sons came to visit my father and they had an unbelievable time with him before he died. One day while he was in the hospital, he called me to his side. He said to me, “Pam, you know I love you.” I responded, “Yes.” He said, “Do you love me?” And I said, “Yes.” He then said, “then we are square.” It was his way of repenting and clearing the slate of past offenses.
Joel 2:25 says, “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.” The Lord was so merciful and gracious to restore to me all the years that had eaten away my relationship with my earthly father. I am so grateful for that beautiful Sunday morning that the Lord moved on my heart to take the steps toward honoring my father.
As I celebrate Father’s Day this year, I have a hope in my heart that I will see my dad again one day in heaven and I rejoice on earth of his love and the memories that I cherish.